Iraqi Librarian Becomes Cultural Hero in 2 Children's Books


It is hard to imagine how startled Alia Muhammad Baker, the chief librarian of Basra, Iraq, has been to discover that she is the hero of two American children's books. Ms. Baker, who rescued 30,000 books just days before the city's main library was burned during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, has sent e-mail messages recently to thank the authors for "showing us Iraqis as an educated people" and says she was surprised but also happy that the books "describe the truth." ...

Complete article from the New York Times (registration required). More on Baker's efforts to save the library here.